Although overall spending by teens is down, the 31st semiannual “Taking Stock With Teens” research survey by Piper Jaffray showed that purchases of apparel, accessories and footwear is up for “upper-income” respondents.
The survey also revealed a rising popularity of denim and household penetration of Amazon Prime of 51 percent. There were more than 6,500 respondents, and the average age of those polled was 16.5.
Neely Tamminga, Piper Jaffray senior research analyst, said in the report that while total spending “among the teen demographic appears to be down versus last year, we are encouraged that overall teen employment appears to be on the rise; 39% of teens indicate they hold a part-time job, which is up 400 basis points over last year’s levels.”
Tamminga said as teens take “more control over their discretionary spending, we believe it is critically important to watch for category shifts and brand preferences.”
The survey showed that compared to the spring survey last year, “the percentage of wallet spend on key fashion categories — clothing, accessories and footwear — is up to 38 percent versus 36 percent a year ago among upper-income teens.”
The poll also showed that denim brands “saw an uptick” as the category rose to 14 percent in “aggregated mindshare and showed up as a top trend among upper-income females for the first time since fall 2013.” Meanwhile, Tamminga noted that athletic apparel continued to gain wallet share of teen women.
“Within men’s apparel, Nike results were more mixed across income demographics,” the analyst noted. “Adidas was a positive standout in the athletic footwear and clothing category.” For the beauty segment, the wallet share of upper-income females rose to 10 percent, which is the segment’s highest value in 10 year, the analyst said adding that specialty stores were the go-to channel for buying beauty products.
In other consumer discretionary categories, restaurants garnered 22 percent of total teen spending. And as male teen video game spending reached an all-time high, the survey showed that they spend more on food and clothing.
With Amazon Prime adoption, the survey showed that is has increased across “all income brackets in each of the past five surveys with this survey indicating Amazon Prime exists in 51 percent of households of the teens in our survey.”
“This survey, along with other previous Piper Jaffray consumer surveys, suggests that there are 57 million to 61 million Prime households in the U.S.,” the analyst noted.